Wagner Hosts Inaugural Dancing With The Stars Event
Staten Island, NY - The Wagner College’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Theater Advisory Board (TAB) hosted its inaugural “Dancing with the Stars” Bridging the Gap event on April 23. Proceeds from the event were donated to the fight against autism. Click HERE to see the entire video or HERE to view the highlights.
The SAAC and TAB came together to create this event as a way to merge the athletics and theater departments at the college. Bridging the Gap is a program that was created by John Garrish, who graduated this past May with a degree in Psychology. Garrish, a former football and track & field athlete, was involved with both constituencies, participating in plays while also serving as an athlete.
Dancing with the Stars, which was hosted by TAB members Chelsea Vann and Caitlin Beckman, had a great turn out, especially since it was the inaugural event. The “stars” were dancers from the theater department and they were chosen by the TAB. They were in charge of creating the dance routine for themselves and their partner. Their partners were student-athletes that were chosen by their SAAC. There were a total of seven groups:
• Dana Gough and David Lopez (Football)
• Brendan Stackhouse and Maura McGuinley (Water Polo)
• John Ammatuna and Vanessa Lenart (Softball)
• Dan Kriss and Morgan Roach (Lacrosse)
• Chris Lunar and Nikki Arnold (Tennis)
• Paige Howell and Josh Thompson (Basketball)
• Brittany Cataruzza and Edgar Sheppard (Football)
The performances went in the order listed above, and by the end of the night, the crowd wanted more! While the judge’s scores were being tallied, there was a game of “basketball knockout” to pass the time. Current Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Quintin Anderson showcased his far-ranging athleticism in winning knockout.
The performers then lined up to see who would win the inaugural Wagner “Dancing with the Stars” Championship. Third place went to Brittany Cataruzza & Edgar Sheppard and John Ammatuna & Vanessa Lenart. Taking second was Chris Lunar and Nikki Arnold. And the inaugural winner was the tandem of Paige Howell and Josh Thompson. The duo’s acrobatic and extremely well choreographed routine clinched the title.
Integral components in making the inaugural event a success were judges: Associate Athletic Director Peg Hefferan, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Bashir Mason, Assistant Director of Co-Curricular Programs Patricia Lemmerman, Dance Department Head, Rusty Curcio and Theater Department Chair Felicia Ruff. Additionally, the event would not have been possible had it not been for Music to the Max, which provided the lighting.